Tag Archives: depression

Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated – Part 2

Last month I wrote a post about a dream I had where my mother (long deceased after a short and troubled life) visited me for tea.  That post was the culmination of a long stretch of days (weeks, really) fraught with deepening sadness and mostly sleepless nights that were punctuated by haunting dreams.  That post was Freshly Pressed, and after replying to comments and visiting the blogs of old and new followers and other passersby, I vanished from the blogosphere for a while.

But life went on.  Each morning, when I hoisted a 90 pound book bag into my vehicle for the trek to the educational emporium which employs me – this guy would be staring at me…

Maybe today is the day...she's moving slower...it won't be long... (Photo credit:  k8edid)

Maybe today is the day…she’s moving slower…it won’t be long…
(Photo credit: k8edid)

But life went on. In an epic battle – serotonin wrestled with norepinephrine about whose job it was to cheer me up, and after coming to the conclusion that joy was highly overrated – both neurotransmitters waved sayonara and abandoned ship, leaving me with a desire to punch everyone (including sweet little old ladies) in the throat; sleeping about 3 hours a night, and wishing my mom would come back and take me with her.  (PLEASE NOTE:  I am okay, really).

But life went on.  I started feeling a little better, sleeping became my new hobby, and writing seemed like a vague memory of something I used to enjoy.  My neurons stopped twitching. I began to see hope and joy in simple things, and felt like I was making a slow, if somewhat wobbly, recovery.  Then I checked the mail.  I’d received an invitation.

Scan0001

To a funeral home.

Related Post:  Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated (Part 1)

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There is Good News…and There is Bad News (Part 2)

Good News and Bad News

Good News and Bad News (Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

Well, sorry dear readers, I did not mean to keep you hanging there, but I was so tired and it was after midnight when I posted (There is Good News…and Bad News Part 1) in the wee hours of yesterday morning.  After an astounding 3 1/2 hours of sleep and one migraine headache,

Migraine Barbie has Snapped!

Migraine Barbie has Snapped! (Photo credit: Deborah Leigh (Migraine Chick))

followed by a long and semi-productive day at the office, and the opening of an IRA (at the credit union which readily accepts my paycheck but informed me I am not a member) to avoid having to send my least favorite relative, Uncle Sam, any of my hard earned cash – I am ready to complete my delivery of the news.  That sentence, right there folks, is deserving of a grammatical “time out” and a mandatory three-post probation.  Since I am too lazy to rewrite it, I plead guilty and will not appeal the maximum sentence…

Uncle Sam BW

Uncle Sam BW (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Good News is…I now know what is wrong with me.

The Bad News is:  I now know what is wrong with me.

The first diagnosis, delivered by an actual doctor (Dr. Mack the Knife), is that I am suffering from an intra-thoracic stomach.  This explains why, over the past 1 1/2 years, I have had extreme, painful, doubling-over, hurty, moaning, need-to-throw-up-but-can’t pain during meals.  At least 1/2 of my stomach is above the diaphram and is residing in the place where my heart and lungs are supposed to live.  In addition, the stomach above the diaphragm has a slight twist to it.  So, in typical k8edid fashion, at a time when every other body part I own has drifted obscenely SOUTH, my stomach has migrated north of the border.  All this can, of course, be surgically repaired if I want to, say, ever eat a real meal again.  Until then I am forced to consume small meals consisting of preferably soft or liquid foods (Ummm, Wendy’s Frosty anyone?).  Fortunately for me, I can live on peanut butter cups, milkshakes, ice cream, lobster bisque, Riesling, and creme brulee’ indefinitely.

Logo of NPR News.

Logo of NPR News. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The second diagnosis was delivered by NPR.  In a broadcast discussion of marital issues and health problems facing retiring baby-boomers, I was intrigued by the mention of this disorder:  Retired Husband Syndrome.  Wikipedia (that fortress of knowledge for all things medical) describes RHS thusly:  It is a condition where a woman begins to exhibit signs of physical illness and depression as her husband reaches, or approaches, retirement.  Symptoms can include depression, rash, asthma, high blood pressure and ulcers.  The phenomenom has been studied in Japan where Japanese physicians estimate that as many as 60 percent of wives of retired men suffer to some extent from “RHS.”

In this article from the archives of the National Institute of Health, Dr. Charles Clifford Johnson, MD identified the syndrome and wrote in 1984:  I have frequently heard wives rage with such allegations as, “I am going nuts,” “I want to scream,” “He is under my feet all the time,” “He is driving me crazy,” “I’m nervous” or “I can’t sleep.” These emotional statements are  frequently associated with symptoms such as tension headaches, depression, agitation, palpitations, gas, bloating, muscle aches and so forth. (Not to be confused with symptoms following a visit to the drive thru at Taco Bell).

This  (RHS – not Taco Bell) would explain the remainder of my symptoms.  My husband is retired.  He has had a couple of jobs since retiring, but they were not really what he wanted and therefore….he is home.  All day.  All freakin’ day.  If I were home all day with him, one of us would probably be incarcerated.  My job, and the soul-sucking commute, and the fact that he escapes to his “man cave” when I am home are probably the only things keeping me alive (and living outside the razor wire) today.

So, if I have surgery  I will have to stay home all day to recuperate with YOU KNOW WHO.  Pass me the lobster bisque, will ya?

Red Lobster – Lobster Bisque Recipe

A bowl of lobster bisque

A bowl of lobster bisque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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You want fries with that?

Manet, Edouard - La Serveuse de Bocks (The Wai...

Sometimes, and I know you are going to be shocked by this revelation, I am overcome by dark moods.  I know, it IS hard to believe, isn’t it.  Sometimes these moods stretch over several days.  Again, I know you are finding this nearly impossible to comprehend.  But, alas, it is true.

Once, in the middle of one of these moods, I went out to eat with co-workers in an attempt to crawl out of my funk.  Our server (why can’t they be waiters and waitresses any more?) asked each of us in turn “What would you like?”  Just for a moment, my mood – foul and black – struggled for control.  As each co-worker placed their order, I sat thinking “What would I really like?”

“What I’d like,” I wanted to say “is a homecooked meal I don’t have to cook.  I’d like to sleep long, and late and uninterrupted – and then spend a day in my pajamas without having to be sick to feel entitled to do so.  I’d like to win the lottery and give every single penny away.  I’d like to live in a world where parents never hear ‘Your child has cancer.’  I’d like to watch the news and not feel like weeping.  I’d like politicians to shut up and do something, ANYTHING, but please shut up.  I’d like to sit in a rocking chair with an infant snuggled on my chest and rock them to sleep feeling their warm, moist breath on my neck.  I’d like to have a stranger (sober) pay me a compliment.  I’d like to wear killer heels just once more.  I’d like to read all day and make love all night – or vice versa.  I’d like to have long legs, hair and fingernails.  I’d like for my husband to know that he is as important to me as the air that I breathe.  I’d like a clean house, a dirty martini, and a stack of good books.  I’d like to go back in time and see my children’s faces the first time they tasted ice cream.  I’d like to hug a veteran, slap a pedophile, and tickle a toddler.  I’d like to be outgoing and happy and free from soul-sucking black moods.  I’d like an order of optimism with gratitude on the side.  And if it isn’t too much trouble, I’d like to see justice for all.”

What I said, when she got to me was “I’d like the tuna melt and unsweetened tea, please”.  She didn’t even know she dodged that bullet…so I left her a huge tip.

A sandwich on a plate with French fries as ser...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
 
What would you like?

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Help Wanted – Depression Need Not Apply

 

Dear Depression.  Go away.  Now.  You are fired and I’m searching for your replacement.

I noticed you, all right. Sneaking up on me.  Waking me up in the middle of the night to alternately think/not think about sad things.  Homesickness.  Self doubt.  Anger.  Then whispering in my ear that I really didn’t need to get up in the morning. When that didn’t work, you started  in, encouraging me to sleep hours on end.  Telling me that I didn’t really need to get dressed.  That it was okay to lie on the couch all day in my pajamas.

“Stay with me” you whisper as you wrap me in your arms to immobilize me.  “Your friends are busy.  Your kids are far away.  Just stay here with me.  I’m here for you.”

“Forget the hobbies…sure, your hands will be busy, but you won’t enjoy them”.  Sure enough, my beads sit untouched in the studio.  I haven’t sewn in weeks and writing is the only outlet I’ve had.  Even that feels forced these days.  Instead of words flowing, they are pulled reluctantly forward, more often than not sent to the trash bin.  Not good enough – not important enough – not anything…

Exercise, I tell myself.  Proven to help with depression.  I drag my droopy ass (literal and figurative description) to the Olympic size pool in the pre-dawn hour for waterjogging – an activity I started when I broke an ankle this spring.  Laps back and forth in the dark – waiting for the sun to come up.  And the sunrise does nothing for me.  Nothing.  Me, the girl who has always enjoyed sunrise as much as sunsets.  Fresh new day, endless opportunities and all that happy horseshit.

I immerse myself in a new job, but I am distracted, disinterested, and inattentive.  It isn’t what I want, isn’t where I want to be.  I want to be on the couch with my friends, Mr. Depression, Mr. Remote Control, and Mr. CableTV.

Even my usual friend/distraction/comfort – FOOD – doesn’t do it for me.  Oh, I eat it all right, but I get no pleasure from it.  Even dragging myself to the refrigerator seems too much effort.

Oh, I recognize you, all right.  We’ve danced before.  After the birth of my first child.  After the death of my mother.  A couple of other times, including a drug induced depression from a medication prescribed for chronic pain.  I kicked you to the curb then; and  I will do it again.  So pack your sorry ass up and get on outta here, and take your apathy, lethargy and inattention with you.

I’ve got better things to do. Like living a beautiful life.

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